Star center MacLean, Andover hockey dreaming of state championship
Mar. 9—From Day 1 this winter, Rose MacLean knew she felt something special.
On the heels of her second straight field hockey state title, the Andover High senior stepped onto the ice and came to an exhilarating conclusion:
This Golden Warriors girls hockey team could be exceptional.
"I realized this team could be special at our first practice," she said. "I knew that this team had great chemistry and could make it deep into the tournament. Everyone is so dedicated and really wants to make it all the way to the title. The drive is there, and I think that we also have the talent to do it too."
Led by standouts like MacLean, Andover is primed for a run at the program's first ever state championship.
The Golden Warriors (16-2-2) entered the MIAA Division 2 tournament as the No. 3 seed, and after winning their first two tourney games, earned a berth in Wednesday's Division 2 Elite Eight against No. 8 Sandwich.
Those 16 wins are tied the 2008-09 squad (16-4-2) for the second most victories for an Andover High team in the past 16 years. Only the 2018-19 team (19-2-1) won more games.
"This team is awesome, and we've worked so hard to get here," said MacLean. "We fight for every win, and we deserve those rankings. This team can go very far, and I believe we have a chance to win it all."
A leader in that success both on and off the ice has been the contributions of MacLean.
She has potted 11 goals this winter, two in the Golden Warriors' state tourney-opening win over Wellesley and a goal and three assists in the Round of 16 win over Pembroke.
"Rose is a true athlete," said second-year Andover head coach Meagan Keefe. "Playing three sports (field hockey/ice hockey/lacrosse) all four years is something unique. She is a competitor and is always trying to improve her own game and the teams as a whole. She's a great leader on and off the ice for the team. She's been one of our leading goal scorers for four years. She has the natural instinct to score goals. However, that's not all she does. She knows the little things matter on the ice to achieve the teams success this year. We are lucky to have her."
MacLean, who scored 14 goals last winter on the way to Eagle-Tribune All-Star honors, was willing to sacrifice offense this year to help the team.
"On the ice my game has shifted in the past few years," she said. "For the first three years of my career I was a very offensive-minded wing. However this year, I have come into the position of a more defensive-minded center. On the ice I try and protect our goalie Allie (Batchelder) and help the defense make sure nothing gets by them, while also trying to help my linemates Brooke (Cedorchuk) and Eliza (O'Sullivan) offensively."
She was more than happy to make that sacrifice for the chance to lead her hockey team on a state title run — like she helped lead the Golden Warrior field hockey team to championships the last two years.
"Winning the two state titles in field hockey has given me invaluable insight into what it takes to be a champion," she said "It's not all about the physical play, it's very much a mental game. As playoffs stretch on, the seasons get very long, so you have to take things one game at a time. Every game could be your last, so you have to put all your energy and intensity into the current game."